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United States District Court for the District of Columbia
July 1, 2020, Decided; July 1, 2020, Filed
Civ. No. 20-cv-0675 (KBJ)
[*232] MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On March 6, 2020, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations ("AFL-CIO" or "Plaintiff") filed a complaint in this Court to challenge [*233] a rule that the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") recently promulgated in order to regulate union-representation elections. (See Compl., ECF No. 1.) The complaint invokes the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), Pub. L. 79-404, 60 Stat. 237 (1946) (codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. §§ 551-559, 701-706), and claims that the NLRB's 2019 Election Rule is unlawful in several respects. (See Compl. ¶¶ 43-50 (Count One) (arguing that the NLRB wrongly eschewed the required notice-and-comment [**2] process); ¶¶ 51-59 (Count Two) (claiming that the rule is arbitrary and capricious as a whole); id. ¶¶ 60-69 (Count Three) (asserting that several rule provisions, including the new impoundment requirement, are arbitrary and capricious); id. ¶¶ 70-81 (Count Four) (maintaining that the impoundment provision, among others, violates section 153(b) of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").) This Court has already issued an order that grants summary judgment in favor of the AFL-CIO with respect to the complaint's first claim; i.e., the Court has held that certain provisions of the 2019 Election Rule are unlawful because the NLRB did not engage in the notice-and-comment rulemaking process that the APA requires. (See Order of May 30, 2020, ECF No. 34, at 1-2; see also Compl. ¶ 48.) And based solely upon that conclusion—which, again, pertains only to Count One of the AFL-CIO's complaint—the Court has invalidated the five rule provisions that the complaint identifies as procedurally improper on notice-and-comment grounds, and it has remanded the entire matter back to the NLRB for reconsideration, without proceeding to consider the remaining claims in the AFL-CIO's complaint. (See Mem. Opinion of June [**3] 7, 2020, ECF No. 36, at 47-48 (rejecting the AFL-CIO's argument that the rule should be vacated in its entirety on non-severability grounds, and sending the matter back to the NLRB based in part on the AFL-CIO's assertion that the Court need not consider the complaint's remaining claims if summary judgment is entered in Plaintiff's favor with respect to Count One).)1
After this Court issued the Memorandum Opinion that explained its Order of May 30, 2020, see generally AFL-CIO v. N.L.R.B. ("AFL-CIO I"), No. 20-cv-0675, 466 F. Supp. 3d 68, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99491, 2020 WL 3041384 (D.D.C. June 7, 2020), the AFL-CIO filed a motion for reconsideration under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) and 60(b), asking the Court to revisit its decision not to reach Plaintiff's remaining claims concerning the 2019 Election Rule. (See Pl.'s Mot. for Reconsideration, ECF No. 37, at 1-2.) That motion, which the NLRB opposes (see Def.'s Mem. in Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Reconsideration ("Def.'s Opp'n to Reconsideration"), ECF No. 39), is before this Court at present. The AFL-CIO contends that the Court misinterpreted its "suggestion that the Court did not need to proceed to Counts Two to Four" if the Court agreed that certain provisions of the 2019 Election Rule violated the APA's notice-and-comment requirement, because the [**4] remand request "was always premised on the Court's agreement with the AFL-CIO's argument that [those] provisions of the NLRB's rule were non-severable, and therefore, the entire rule was invalid on notice and comment grounds." (Pl.'s Mot. for Reconsideration at 2.) In essence, the AFL-CIO now seeks rescission of the part of the Court's Order that remands this matter to the agency, insofar as the AFL-CIO's motion for reconsideration asks the Court to "proceed [*234] to rule on Counts Two, Three, and Four" of the complaint. (Id. at 8)
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471 F. Supp. 3d 228 *; 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115857 **; 171 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P11,243
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR AND CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS, Plaintiff, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Defendant.
Prior History: AFL-CIO v. NLRB, 466 F. Supp. 3d 68, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99491 (D.D.C., June 7, 2020)
Election, impoundment, regional director, Reconsideration, ballots, summary judgment, Counts, reasons, quotation, marks, arbitrary and capricious, reconsideration motion, decisionmaking, transparency, revise, final judgment, policymaking, promulgation, delegated, remaining claim, arbitrary-and-capricious, notice-and-comment, provisions, automatic, violates, agency's action, capricious, purposes, appears, voting